Nehru’s pride, Indo-American relationship and the Indo-China war

Gurcharan Das, in his book India Unbound, makes a pithy statement. When individuals make blunders, it’s sad but when leaders make blunders, it’s a tragedy. He was referring to Indira Gandhi but the statement applies equally to her father too. Nehru’s socialist leanings are well-known. What’s less known is that he was more attached to …

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Curious superficial pugnacity about the American people

In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith writes about many interesting things during his tenure as US Ambassador to India. In an Oct 9, 1961 letter to President John F. Kennedy, he writes the following about The Right, Democrats, Republicans, foreign policy, bipartisanship and pugnacity. Some of these observations are relevant even today.. and not just in the …

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Prime Minister is like the great banyan tree…

No – not the current ‘great’ Dr. Manmohan Singh. In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith writes about many interesting things during his tenure as US Ambassador to India. The journal entry from Jul 1961 captures a slice of the Nehruvian Prime Ministership. July 26 – New Delhi …. Later in the day I saw M. J. Desai …

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When Bokaro Steel Plant and America almost had a date…

In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith writes about many interesting things during his tenure as US Ambassador to India. The snippets on Bokaro Steel City (where I was born) caught my attention. All Bokaro residents are aware of the Russian collaboration and the ‘many things Russian’ about Bokaro (stations inside City Park, Russian Colony, etc.) What will …

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Diplomacy 101 – blast from the 1961 Galbraith archives

In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith shares a Diplomacy 101 aphorism (“don’t do anything”) in his February 18, 1961 journal entry. February 18-Washington-Cambridge … (skipped several paragraphs) … Thursday night we were guests of the Indian Embassy at The World of Appu, by Satyajit Ray. It needs cutting but is obviously a superior film. Afterward there was …

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John F Kennedy’s Presidential Desk

In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith writes about the origins of JFK’s presidential desk in his February 14, 1961 journal entry. Yesterday the FBI invaded Cambridge. If my loyalty is imperfect, it will be one of the most dangerously delayed discoveries in modern history. Meanwhile my diplomatic career continues to be subordinate to the price of hogs. …

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